Introducing Edin Whitehead, Amateur Photographer of the Year

© Edin Whitehead, Sigma D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year 2014 - web Those of you who've picked up D-Photo no. 61 have already been exposed to the wonderful work of Edin Whitehead, gracing the cover as this year's New Zealand Amateur Photographer of the Year.

Whitehead came out on top of a truly staggering pool of 5783 entries, the most we have ever received in the competition's history, with her beautifully tranquil image of a Western Cattle Egret, taken during a trip to South Africa.

We caught up with the 20-year-old Auckland University student, originally from Rotorua, to ask her how she felt about winning the top spot in the 2014 Sigma D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year competition:

"I think excited is probably the best word, once I got past the initial disbelief! I'm excited because for me, it means that I'm going in the right direction with my photography, which is really rewarding to know."

Edin_webShe says that while she has been taking photos since childhood, inspired by her father's passion for the craft, it wasn't until 2010 when she started taking photography more seriously, after inheriting her grandfather's Nikon D200.

This isn't the first time Edin has been on D-Photo's radar; in 2012 we named her our Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year, and her abilities in that area have only grown from there.

Discussing Whitehead's champion photo, competition judge Mike Hollman says the image reminds him of the sort of beautiful illustrations found in Victorian botanical books.

"A striking image;  it stood out because of its simplicity, capturing the essence of the bird," he explains. "The subtle colours and graphic quality are enhanced by the high key background."

Judge Harry Janssen was immediately struck by the way the image evokes the detailed illustrations of the great ornithological painter, John James Audubon.

"To me, it has that type of quality. Not just an image of a flying bird, the author has captured the true grace and colours of this animal in a beautiful way."

Judge Emma Bass particularly enjoyed the way Whitehead managed to evoke the feeling of flight in such a painterly and graceful way with the image.

"This image sung out to me with its pure simplicity.  It made me yearn to fly.  Sleek and stunning!"

Though her enticing image looks as though it is the work of long, meticulous planning, Whitehead says it was more a case of reacting quickly to a spontaneous opportunity.

dphoto_61 (1)"We were on holiday in South Africa, in the Kwa-Zulu Natal Midlands earlier this year, and Dad and I went out every morning to a dam to photograph birds. It was quite a fleeting moment when I saw the egret flying directly overhead."

On this trip Whitehead had begun to use manual mode, previously shooting in Aperture Priority and using exposure compensation.

"I had my settings ready for darker birds against a white sky, so I had to push the shutter speed up a little as it flew over so it wasn't overexposed. I just got the one shot, and it looked down at me just as I pressed the shutter release."

Whitehead's passion for wildlife does not end at photography, she is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Biological Sciences and Psychology. She hopes to go on to study animal behaviour at a post-graduate level, while continuing to work on her photography in tandem.

"I just want to keep learning and improving my skills. I've managed to infect a few of my friends with the photography bug, and I enjoy helping them learn too. It would be a dream to be able to make a living from photography, but I really enjoy my studies and I'd like to study the birds I love to photograph.

"Perhaps I can combine the two!"

If you would like to see more from this year's champion amateur photographer, head over to her website. And be sure to get your hands on D-Photo no. 61 to check out all the successful photographers in this year's Sigma D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year competition.

Amateur Photographer of the Year prizes revealed

APotY prizes New Zealand's biggest amateur photography competition has expanded again this year, offering the biggest prize pool to date, with a total value of over $14,500.

Sigma and D-Photo, along with category sponsors Vanguard, Hasselblad, GoPro, Epson, SanDisk, Marumi, and Fantail Publishing, are proud to bring this singular opportunity to New Zealand’s amateur photography community.

Without further ado, we present the prizes for this year's Sigma D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year competition:

Grand prize
01 Apoty grand prize sigma lenses

The person named 2014 New Zealand Amateur Photographer of the Year will have the opportunity to put together a dream lens kit with $3000 to put towards any Sigma products they desire.


Landscape category — sponsored by Vanguard


02a Xcenior-48T-202b Alta-Pro-263AGH-1

First prize: Vanguard Xcenior 48T rolling trolley bag and Vanguard Alta Pro 263AGH tripod (worth $740)


03 Xcenior-41-1

Second prize: Vanguard Xcenior 41 camera bag (worth $375)


04 Alta-Pro-263AB-100-1

Third prize: Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB tripod (worth$300)



Monochrome category — sponsored by Hasselblad


05a Supreme-53D-2 05b 18-250mm_os-macro

First place: Vanguard Supreme 53D Professional hard case and Sigma 18–250mm f/3.5–6.3 DC Macro OS HSM lens (worth $880)


197921106b UP-Rise-45-1

Second place: Ilford inkjet paper voucher to the value of $200 plus a Vanguard UP-Rise 45 bag worth $189.


07b UP-Rise-II-34-1 ilford-galerie-gold-fibre-silk

Third place: Ilford inkjet paper voucher to the value of $150 plus a Vanguard UP-Rise II 34 bag worth $130.



Action category — sponsored by GoPro


08a GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition

08c sm-big-u-shot-plie 08b xsories_big_black_box_1

First place: GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition, an XSorries Big Black Box case and XSorries Big U Shot Mono (worth $778.80)


09 GoPro Hero3+ Silver Edition

Second place: GoPro Hero3+ Silver Edition (worth $479)


10 XSorries Tripod Pro

Third place: XSorries Tripod Pro (worth $249.90)



Creative category — sponsored by Fantail publishing


First place: Fantail Pro Imaging voucher to the value of $1500


Second place: Fantail Pro Imaging voucher to the value of $800


Third place: Fantail Pro Imaging voucher to the value of $500

Nature category — sponsored by Marumi


14a Marumi Achromat DHG Macro +3 14b Marumi EXUS Circular Polarizer 14c Marumi Variable ND2-ND400 DHG filter 14d Marumi DHG Lens Protector filter

First place: Marumi Achromat DHG Macro +3, Marumi Variable ND2-ND400 DHG filter, Marumi EXUS Circular Polarizer, and Marumi DHG Lens Protector filter set (worth $826)


15a Marumi EXUS Circular Polarizer 15b Marumi Achromat DHG Macro +3

Second place: Marumi EXUS Circular Polarizer and Marumi Achromat DHG Macro +3 filter set (worth $548)


16a Marumi Super DHG Circular PLD 16b Marumi DHG Super Lens Protector

Third place: Marumi Super DHG Circular PLD Filter and Marumi DHG Super Lens Protector filter set (worth $298)



Travel category — sponsored by SanDisk


17a SanDisk_Extreme_PRO_SDXC_280MBs_ 17b SanDisk Extremem PRO UHS II card reader writer SDDR_Q46_front_HR

First place: SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC UHS-II 280Mb/s 64GB memory card and SanDisk USB 3.0 UHS-II SD card reader (worth $848)


80-56-12775-016G_SDSDXPB_Q46_die 80-56-12776-016G_SDSDXPB_G46_die 18c Extreme PRO UHS-II SD Reader_angle_down_open_Hi-res (1)

Second place: SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC UHS-II 280Mb/s 32GB and SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC UHS-II 280Mb/s 16GB memory cards and SanDisk USB 3.0 UHS-II SD card reader (worth $577)


80-56-12776-016G_SDSDXPB_G46_die 19b Extreme PRO UHS-II SD Reader_angle_down_close_Hi-res

Third place: SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC UHS-II 280Mb/s 16GB memory card and SanDisk USB 3.0 UHS-II SD card reader (worth $278)



People category — sponsored by Epson

20 Epson Artisan 1430 inkjet printer


First place: Epson Artisan 1430 inkjet printer (worth $549)


21 Epson Expression Photo XP-950

Second place: Epson Expression Photo XP-950 Small-in-One printer (worth $499)


22 Epson Stylus Photo T50

Third place: Epson Stylus Photo T50 inkjet printer (worth $199)

Head to the online entry page to submit your images for a chance to win a share in these amazing photography prizes.

Top image: Lance van de Vyver, 2013 New Zealand Amateur Travel Photographer of the Year

New Zealand's biggest amateur photo comp now accepting submissions

Hreoimage_new_3.1We are excited to announce the country’s most prestigious competition exclusively for amateur photographers is now accepting submissions for its 2014 programme. The Sigma D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year contest gives passionate photographers throughout the country the chance to showcase their skills and vie for a share of over $13,500 in prizes.

D-Photo is thrilled to announce this latest partnership with Sigma to help encourage and promote the talent of our local photographic community – head to the official competition page for terms and conditions, online entry form and to view images already submitted.

In addition to the grand title of Amateur Photographer of the Year, prizes will also be awarded for the top three spots in each competition category, thanks to the generosity of our category sponsors.

They are:

Landscape, sponsored by Vanguard

People, sponsored by Epson

Action, sponsored by GoPro

Nature, sponsored by Marumi

Monochrome, sponsored by Hasselblad

Creative, sponsored by Fantail Publishing

Travel, sponsored by Sandisk

The competition is open to any New Zealand residents who do not earn their primary income from photography (exceptions can be made depending on circumstances – email to discuss) – the deadline for entries is 5pm, Friday June 13.

One change to this year’s programme is an increase in the amount of submissions allowed up to three per category.

Be sure to check back regularly for prize announcements, judging appointments and tips from past winners.

World Press Photo 2014 gallery

D-Photo is proud to present a selection of winners from the latest edition of the world's biggest and most prestigious photojournalism competition, the World Press Photo contest. Marking 57 years of the event, 2014 saw 53 photographers of 25 nationalities across the globe awarded prizes in nine themed categories.

World Press Photo of the Year 2013

01_John Stanmeyer

John Stanmeyer, USA, VII for National Geographic

February 26, 2013, Djibouti City, Djibouti: African migrants on the shore of Djibouti city at night, raising their phones in an attempt to capture an inexpensive signal from neighboring Somalia—a tenuous link to relatives abroad. Djibouti is a common stop-off point for migrants in transit from such countries as Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea, seeking a better life in Europe and the Middle East.

Speaking of the winning image, jury member Jillian Edelstein praised Stanmeyer for the subtle poetics underlying a message of grave relevance.

“It’s a photo that is connected to so many other stories—it opens up discussions about technology, globalization, migration, poverty, desperation, alienation, humanity. It’s a very sophisticated, powerfully nuanced image."


First Prize, General News Single

 Refugees in Bulgaria

Alessandro Penso, Italy, OnOff Picture

November 21, 2013, Sofia, Bulgaria: Military Ramp, an emergency refugee centre, was opened in September 2013 in an abandoned school in Sofia, Bulgaria. The center provides housing for about 800 Syrian refugees, including 390 children. Bulgaria, already hard hit by the economic crisis and heightened political instability, is confronting a refugee crisis that appears to coincide with increased efforts by Greece to close off its border with Turkey. Bulgaria, however, is totally unprepared to face a refugee crisis.


Second Prize, General News Stories

 03_William Daniels

William Daniels, France, Panos Pictures for Time

November 17 2013, Central African Republic: Demonstrators gather on a street in Bangui to call for the resignation of interim President Michel Djotodia following the murder of Judge Modeste Martineau Bria by members of Seleka.

The Central African Republic has seen more than its fair share of coups and unrest over the five and a half decades since its independence from France. The current crisis, however, triggered by yet another coup, is starting to set in position a well armed, mainly Muslim militia that is refusing to disarm against Anti-balaka, Christian vigilante groups defending the country's majority Christian population. The UN has warned of a potential slide into genocide and France has sent 1600 troops to protect civilians and disarm the different militia. Bordering on other highly volatile regions in central Africa, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Chad, the conflict is ringing alarm bells across the continent and beyond.


First Prize, Spot News Single


Phillipe Lopez, France, Agence France-Presse

November 18, 2013, Tolosa, the Philippines: Survivors of typhoon Haiyan march during a religious procession in Tolosa, on the eastern island of Leyte. One of the strongest cyclones ever recorded, Haiyan left 8000 people dead and missing and more than four million homeless after it hit the central Philippines.


First Prize, Spot News Stories

 Free Syrian Army fighters take cover as a tank shell explodes on a wall after their comrade was shot by sniper fire during heavy fighting in the Ain Tarma neighbourhood of Damascus

Goran Tomasevic, Serbia, Reuters

January 30, 2013, Damascus, Syria: Syrian rebel fighters take cover amid flying debris and shrapnel after being hit by a tank shell fired towards them by the Syrian Army in the Ain Tarma neighborhood of Damascus.

A Syrian rebel group planning an attack on government forces is hit by sniper fire in Damascus, Syria. After evacuating their comrade, who was shot in the chest and would later die from injuries, the rebels return to attack the checkpoint with rocket fire. Subsequently, government forces fired tank shells at the rebels. The rebels eventually retreated for the day to mourn the death of their comrade.


Second Prize, Spot News Stories

 Massacre at a Kenyan Mall

Tyler Hicks, USA, The New York Times

September 21, 2013, Nairobi, Kenya: A woman and children hiding in the Westgate mall. They escaped unharmed after gunmen had opened fire at the upscale Nairobi mall on 21 September 2013. At least 39 people were killed in one of the worst terrorist attacks in Kenya’s history.


Third Prize, Contemporary Issues Single

 colgados en valle dorado

Christopher Vanegas, Mexico, La Vanguardia / El Guardían

 March 8, 2013, Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico: Police arrive at a crime scene where two bodies hang from a bridge; another three are on the floor. They had been killed by organized crime in Saltillo, Coahuila, in retaliation against other criminal groups.


First Prize, Contemporary Issues Stories

 08_Sara Naomi Lewkowicz

Sara Naomi Lewkowicz, USA, for Time

November 17, 2012, USA: As the fight continued to rage, Shane told Maggie that she could choose between getting beaten in the kitchen, or going with him to the basement so they could talk privately.


First Prize, Daily Life Single

 09_Julius Schrank

Julius Schrank, Germany, De Volkskrant

March 15, 2013, Burma: Kachin Independence Army fighters are drinking and celebrating at a funeral of one of their commanders who died the day before. The city is under siege by the Burmese army.


First Prize, Daily Life Stories


10_Fred Ramos

Fred Ramos, El Salvador, El Faro

August 10, 2013, San Salvador, El Salvador: Date found: February 1, 2013, time 3:45 PM, location: a sugar plantation in Apopa, San Salvador. Sex: Female, age: between 17 and 18 years old, time of disappearance: not available.

The North Central American Triangle (Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador) is one of the most violent regions in the world. In many cases, clothes that are found become the only means to identify victims.


Second Prize, Sports Action Single

 Mistrzostwa Polski w narciarstwie alpejskim

Andrzej Grygiel, Poland, for PAP-Polska Agencja Prasowa

March 24, 2013, Szczyrk, Poland: Competitor at a slalom contest in Szczyrk.


Third Prize, Sports Action Stories


Australian Swimming Championships - Day 2

Quinn Rooney, Australia, Getty Images

April 27, 2013, Adelaide, Australia: Daniel Arnamnart of Australia competes in the men's 100-metre backstroke during day two of the Australian Swimming Championships at SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre in Adelaide.


First Prize, Sports Feature Stories

 13_Peter Holgersson

Peter Holgersson, Sweden

December 19, 2013, Lidingö, Sweden: Nadja feeling better just before her last treatment.

Swedish athlete Nadja Casadei has participated in the World and European Championships in heptathlon. In autumn 2013, she was diagnosed with cancer and by January 2014 she completed her chemotherapy. She has continued to train throughout her illness, hoping to be healthy and ready by the summer for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.


First Prize, People – Observed Portraits Single

 Farewell Mandela

Markus Schreiber, Germany, The Associated Press

December 13, 2013, Pretoria, South Africa: A woman reacts in disappointment after access to see former South Africa President Nelson Mandela was closed on the third and final day of his casket lying in state, outside Union Buildings in Pretoria.


First Prize, People – Observed Portraits Stories

 15_Carla Kogelman

Carla Kogelman, the Netherlands

July 19, 2012, Merkenbrechts, Austria: Hannah and Alena, two sisters living in the rural village of Merkenbrechts.


First Prize, People – Staged Portraits Single

 16_Brent Stirton

Brent Stirton, South Africa, Reportage by Getty Images

September 25, 2013, West Bengal, India: A group of blind albino boys photographed in their boarding room at the Vivekananda mission school for the blind in West Bengal. This is one of the very few schools for the blind in India today.


Second Prize, People – Staged Portraits Stories

Mother and son 

Denis Dailleux, France, Agence Vu

February 3, 2011, Cairo, Egypt: Ali, a young Egyptian bodybuilder, poses with his mother.


Third Prize, Nature Stories


Christian Ziegler, Germany, for National Geographic Magazine

January 25 2011, Congo: A five-year-old bonobo turns out to be the most curious individual of a wild group of bonobos near the Kokolopori Bonobo Reserve, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Despite being humans’ closest living relatives, little is known about bonobos and their behavior in the wild in remote parts of the Congo basin. Bonobos are threatened by habitat loss and bush meat trade.


First Prize, Nature Stories

 19_Steve Winter

Steve Winter, USA, for National Geographic

 March 2, 2013, Los Angeles, USA: A cougar walking a trail in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park is captured by a camera trap. To reach the park, which has been the cougar’s home for the last two years it had to cross two of the busiest highways in the US.

Cougars are among the most adaptable and widespread terrestrial mammals in the Western Hemisphere, with a range that extends from the tip of Chile to the Canadian Yukon. They are increasingly being seen in and around towns and cities, including Los Angeles and in the Hollywood Hills. Fear of these secretive cats, combined with a lack of adequate public knowledge, tends to justify the thousands of cougars killed every year. Scientists in Wyoming’s Teton National Forest are outfitting them with GPS collars and camera trapping to learn more about basic behaviors and to lift the veil of mystery surrounding them.


For more on this year's World Press Photo winners, including New Zealand's successful entrant, be sure to pick up D-Photo 59, on sale March 17.